May 05, 2009 15:00 ET

BCIT Partners With BC Hydro to Train Future Sustainable Energy Managers

The first of its kind, these part-time courses will provide a 'recession proof' career for future energy managers

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2009) - The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is going greener with the help of BC Hydro's PowerSmart Partner program - an initiative aimed at helping large BC companies identify and implement sustainable energy management strategies.

To help combat the current shortage of energy managers in BC, BCIT has launched a series of Sustainable Energy Management courses to train future Sustainable Energy Managers. The part-time courses will focus on reducing demand for energy through behaviour change, emphasizing the relationship between energy and greenhouse gas emissions and exploring appropriate use of renewable energy technologies. Graduates will meet BC Hydro's minimum education requirements for eligibility to be hired as partially funded energy managers through the PowerSmart Partner program.

"Energy management is recession-proof," says Jennie Moore, director of Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship within the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. "Sustainable energy management is part of the new green economy that is emerging in BC. Our ability to move quickly to develop a suite of courses that offer graduates excellent job prospects in challenging economic times demonstrates how BCIT is integral to the economic, social and environmental prosperity of the province."

"BC businesses are seeing the value in hiring an energy manager to implement a comprehensive, holistic approach to energy efficiency," said Simon Vickers with PowerSmart marketing. "Energy managers champion conservation within their organizations and can make a real difference."

In addition to these sustainability-related courses, BCIT has hired its own Energy and Sustainability Manager - Alexandre Hebert. A new position for the institute and funded through the PowerSmart Partner program, Hebert will be exploring how sustainability can further the energy savings for BCIT typically achieved through traditional approaches to energy management.

"As we know, over the next twenty years, BC's energy demand could increase by up to 30 per cent," says Hebert. "Meanwhile, the provincial government has set a goal of fulfilling half of the new energy demand through conservation by 2020 and to have a carbon-neutral public sector by 2010. These legislated changes create significant opportunities for BCIT to reduce its ecological footprint."

BCIT's School of Construction and the Environment is a leader in sustainability education, being concerned with the natural environment, the built environment and the relationship between them. For further information on Sustainable Energy Management courses, please contact program coordinator Steve Finn at 604.432.8857, email Steve_Finn@bcit.ca or visit http://commons.bcit.ca/energy/semac.html.

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